Geico Insurance Co. (Geico) has filed a federal lawsuit in Florida against Shazam Auto Glass, LLC, (Shazam) and its owner, Sean Martineau. The insurance company alleges Shazam and Martineau are responsible for a “fraudulent scheme” that included falsifying windshield replacement services totaling more than $340,000. Geico is seeking to recover financial damages under the civil racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO) statutes.
This is not the first time Geico has filed a lawsuit pertaining to RICO statutes. The insurance company filed a similar lawsuit against an Arizona auto glass company and its owner last month. The insurance company has stated multiple times it aims to continue taking action against fraudulent auto glass claims, and this recent complaint follows suit.
Geico’s Florida complaint alleges Shazam and Martineau not only executed a “fraudulent scheme,” but also have current outstanding auto glass insurance claims with Geico, of which the insurance company claims are also “phony.”
“… This scheme was engineered by the defendants to create the appearance that Shazam Glass was an actual glass replacement company that provided glass services to insureds and was in possession of valid assignments of those insureds’ insurance benefits. In reality, Shazam was a shell entity created and used by Sean Martineau (Martineau) in furtherance of the defendant’s fraudulent scheme against Geico, Geico insureds, and the Florida automobile insurance industry,” a portion of the complaint reads.
The insurance company stated it believes the alleged fraudulent scheme began in 2016 and has continued uninterrupted to the present day. According to Geico, Shazam at no point in time kept automotive glass, had auto glass repair or replacement tools, did not maintain any vehicles, and did not perform any physical work on a customer’s vehicle.
Geico alleges the defendants purposefully trained and directed independent contractors to illegally obtain insurance information from insureds using “deceptive tactics.” Geico further suggests that the defendants forged insureds signatures on insurance claim documents in its complaint.
Geico also alleges the Florida auto glass company and its owner were fully aware of its fraudulent actions, but continued to operate using “deceptive methods.” The insurance company included the following as reasons why the defendant’s actions should be proven to be fraudulent:
- … involved phony glass services that were not necessary, reparative, or in some cases actually performed;
- … were the product of illegal, deceptive, unfair, and manipulative conduct directed at Geico insureds; and
- … claims were submitted through Shazam Glass, which never actually performed the services, never obtained valid assignments of insurance benefits from the insureds, and was ineligible to seek reimbursement from Geico for the claims in the first instance.
Geico is currently seeking to recover its financial damages that equate to more than $340,000 from the defendants for their alleged fraudulent three-year scheme.
At press time, Shazam Auto Glass, LLC had not yet responded to requests for comment from glassBYTEs. Check glassBYTEs.com for continuing coverage of this suit.